Becoming a vegetarian or vegan can seem extremely difficult at first. If you’re someone who currently eats meat, it may seem impossible to stop all at once. Some people try to go without and end up feeling tired or constantly hungry and just give up. This happens when you go from eating meat several times a week to no meat without replacing any of the protein you need to function. It’s more than possible to get everything you need in your diet, including protein, without eating meat as long as you know how! Not only is it possible, but it benefits your body and the world around you.
Whether you care about the horrible environmental effects of meat consumption, the animals that are tortured, or the health benefits of eating meat-free, there’s always a good reason to change. Livestock and farming takes up 40% of the global land surface, and is a huge contributing factor to climate change. Billions of animals are killed for humans to eat each year, and before they’re killed they live in brutal conditions. Not participating in those things is great, not to mention vegetarian diets include fewer risks of heart disease and obesity, resulting in a longer life span.
A good first step is cutting down how much meat you eat, and substituting it with other things, such as quinoa (there’s around 14 grams of protein in 100 grams of quinoa). Taking certain vitamins can also be a good idea if you’re worried about lack of protein or other things. B12 and calcium are essential to your diet, so look for those in vitamins. Supplements, protein powder and bars are options as long as you know what’s in them. Look for things with a high amount of iron and protein, but be careful as some also contain over half of your daily sugar in one bar.
If your favourite dish includes meat, there’s always a way to make it without, and still get the food you love. It’s as simple as almond milk for cereal, or veggie burgers instead of chicken. Substituting ingredients means you get to experiment and try new recipes, which usually results in finding new food you love! It’s not as difficult as it seems once you realize how many delicious meals can be quickly adjusted, or are already meat-free.
Slowly changing your diet is a much easier alternative to cutting out meat all together. Just having some vegetarian days and limiting how much meat you do eat benefits your body and the environment. There’s so many veggie options that are tasty and great for you, why not try something?